LTFRB-6: All systems go for PUV modern caravan in Iloilo

By: Gerome Dalipe

THE Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB-6) are all set for the final leg of the Public Utility Vehicle Modern Caravan in the Visayas.

Themed “Arangkada Para sa Pagbabago,” the PUV Caravan will kick-off the first phase of the Visayas leg on October 25, 2019 at SM City-Iloilo.

The LTFRB in Western Visayas, headed by its regional director, Richard Osmeña, will lead the roadshow in cooperation with some state agencies, auto manufacturers, transport leaders and organizations.

The program is in line with President Duterte’s goal of improving the country’s land-based transportation system to provide Filipinos with newer, safer, and environment-friendly public transport vehicles.

The program was an offshoot of Department Order 2017-011 dated June 19, 2017, issued by the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

It provides omnibus guidelines on the planning and identification of public road transportation services and franchise issuances, or the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUMP).

The modernization program is a flagship non-infrastructure program of the Duterte administration that envisions a restructured, modern, well-managed and environmentally sustainable transport sector.

Under the program, drivers and operators are promised of stable, sufficient and dignified livelihoods while commuters get to their destinations quickly, safely and comfortably.

The PUVMP is not merely a vehicle modernization program, the DOTr said.  It is a comprehensive system reform that will entirely change the public land transportation industry.

The agency also said the program features regulatory reform and sets new guidelines for the issuance of franchise for road-based public transport services.

Under the program, the local government units are empowered to draft their route planning considering they are more versed in the terrain and passenger demand within their respective territorial jurisdiction.

The LGUs are also required to submit their own Local Public Transport Plan (LPTRP) as a pre-requisite for the opening of PUV franchises within their jurisdiction.

Route rationalization studies will also be conducted to determine the appropriate model, quantity, and service characteristics of the public transport service in each corridor which will make the routes more responsive to passenger demand and ensure that the hierarchy of roads and modes of transportation are followed.

In Western Visayas, some 655 modernized public utility vehicles (PUVs) are now plying on different routes in the region since July this year.

Osmeña, the LTFRB-6 chief, had said that a simultaneous nationwide was launched on July 11. 2019.

In Iloilo City, the Iloilo Business Park (IBP) hosted the launching of the modernized jeepney in July this year.

The 655 PUVs include 385 new taxis, 165 modern jeepneys, and 105 P2P and provincial route buses.

Modern jeepneys are air-conditioned, complete with Wi-Fi connection, and tap card for cash-less or auto-pay system.

The Point-to-Point (P2P) buses are also plying the Iloilo Business Park Transportation Hub in Mandurriao district to the Iloilo International Airport in Cabatuan, Iloilo. Fifteen units of low-floored buses have been provided by Southwest Tours.

On the other hand, about 95 provincial route buses by the Vallacar Transit are serving the Caticlan Airport in Malay and Kalibo Airport in Kalibo. Each bus can accommodate around 30 to 50 passengers.